Friday, July 24, 2009

Rikki Watts: The Psalms in Mark's Gospel

I have an unpublished paper by Rikki Watts of Regent College entitled: "The Lord's House and David's Lord: the Psalms and Mark's Perspective on Jesus and the Temple." The abstract states:
"Four Davidic Psalms (2, 118, 110, and 22), each cited or alluded to at least twice, in this order, and at critical junctures in Mark's narrative, play a key role in his Gospel. In contemporary understanding Psalm 2 was associated with teh future messianic urging of Jersusalem and especially the Temple (e.g. 4QFlor, Pss Sol 17). Psalm 118, concluding the Egyptian Hallel, spoke of Israel's future deliverance under a Davidic king with the restored temple as the goal of Israel's return from exile. Psalm 110's surprisingly elevated royal desgination, uniquely expressed in Melchizedekian preist-king terms, contributed to several portraits of exalted heavenly deliverers, some messianic, who would preside over Israel's restoration (e.g. 11QMelch, 1 Enoch) while Psalm 22's Davidic suffering and vindication described teh deliverance of righteous Zion (e.g. 4QPs). Drawing from the dual perspective of their original contexts and contemporary interpretations, this paper proposes taht Mark's careful arrangement of his psalm citations presents Jesus as both Israel's Davidic Messiah (Pss 2, 118) and the temple's Lord (Ps 110) who, coming to purge Jerusalem but rejected by the temple authorities, announces the present structure's destruction and, through his death and vindication (Ps 22), its replacement with a new people-temple centred on himself."

What do the rest think on this? I concur with the use of Psalm 2 in Judaism and its relevance for the Gospel of Mark. The issue of replacing the temple with a people-temple is perhaps more controversial, although I am willing to give it some air time (the problem is that the early Jerusalem church seems fairly temple-centred in their worship and that requires explanation: two temples in parrallel or one temple inside another). Certain Ps 110 is also a big part of Mark's Christology too.


Jason said...

"Two temples" shouldn't be a problem; the author of Hebrews didn't seem to think so. Israel had several earthly institutions representative of heavenly or eschat/future entities; the existence of the latter never necessitated avoiding the former.

Mike, I'd be interested in knowing if he interacts with Beale's work on the Temple.

mgvh said...

Have to believe he interacts with Juel's Messiah and Temple: The trial of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. I'll have to check that again...
BTW: I'm working on getting my dissertation (Psalm 22 and the Crucifixion of Jesus) published for T&TClark, and I would appreciate seeing that paper if it were possible. Thanks.

We are Levi and Shelley said...

This paper was published. I have a copy of it in Biblical Interpretation 15 (2007) 307-322. While Rikk doesn't interact with Beale (you're right mgvh, it's Juel he interacts with), I know that Rikk has engaged with Beale's work a great deal. I was a student of his at Regent College a couple of years ago and took his seminar on the use of the OT in the NT. Man's as sharp as a tack. Have you interacted at all with his published dissertation Isaiah's New Exodus in Mark at all?

Jason, if you want a copy of the paper, I have a PDF I can send your way.

I'm going to read the article again an post on it later. Michael, I have been a long time lurker here and appreciate the dialogue you've got going. Thanks!

Levi Simpson
Eston College

mgvh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mgvh said...

Levi, if you would be so kind to send a PDF copy to me, I would appreciate it. mgvh at yahoo dot com

Gary Yates said...

Levi, would also appreciate having a copy of this paper. Please send to: Thank you.

newbeginning said...

Levi, I would be grateful for a copy of the PDF as well. Many thanks!

john said...

still possible to get a copy? jbb -at- jbburnett dot com.

redjuveniliglesiasquebec said...


I want to study in regent college
and I love the way rikk watts explain the bible

is it possible that you can share that paper?

my email is



Spencer Robinson said...

Hi, I'm teaching Mark this semester. Could I get a copy of that PDF paper too?